New Pocket Breathalyzer Plugs Into Smartphone, Gives Very Accurate Results
The Italian company 2045Tech has created a highly accurate pocket-sized breathalyzer called “Floome” that is compatible with most smartphones, as Nicolaas Du Plessis reports for tom’s Hardware. 2045Tech, based in Caorle, Italy, is trying to raise money for it via the crowdsourcing site IndieGoGo.
In a Gizmag article Jonathan Fincher writes that the Floome works by plugging in to the headphone jack of any iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone, connecting to its app that displays the user’s blood alcohol content (BAC) when they blow into it. The Floome has a removable cap so it can be cleaned, and does not need to be charged before use, Fincher notes. In fact, as Du Plessis points out, the device does not even require any batteries.
The app that comes with the Floome predicts at what time the user’s BAC will drop to legal driving limits, based on the person’s weight, height, and gender. It can also remind the person to retest on a regular basis.
Fincher talks about what sets Floome apart from other breathalizers for consumers:
We’ve seen similar devices before, but the Floome sports a more stylish design and contains professional-grade fuel cell sensors for greater accuracy. In lab tests, the developers found their new breathalyzer produced almost the same results as equipment used by the police, with a standard deviation of less than 10 percent. It also incorporates a patent-pending vortex whistle to measure breath flow rate and volume to ensure it has collected a sufficient sample.
Floome’s technology is very much like that in breathalizers used by law enforcement officials around the world, Du Plessis writes, “incorporating a fuel cell based design that registers an electrical difference between the two poles in the presence of varying amounts of ethanol.”
On its IndieGoGo page, 2045Tech writes that it has been collaborating with the Department of Chemical Processes for Engineering at University of Padova to validate the accuracy and precision of the Floome. The company is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to get all necessary approvals, they add.
The device has been endorsed by Bruno Murari, inventor of the accelerometer, ST Microelectronics, who calls Floome “really revolutionary,” and Roberta Bertani, Associate Professor at Department of Chemical Processes for Engineering, University of Padova, according to 2045Tech’s IndieGoGo page.
The Floome is expected to sell for around $80 and will be available in black, white, midnight blue, purple, and a color called “gemstone.” There is also a special jewel case option from Swarovski Elements.
Fincher questions one of the Floome’s features:
Strangely, the app also allows users to save pictures and graphs of their breathalyzer test results, which they can share with friends. While this might settle the dispute of who was the most plastered on a night out, it could also adversely encourage people to foolishly compete for the highest score.
You can see a video 2045Tech made about the Floome here: